Somerville High School Peer Leadership Press 2016-2017 · PDF file 4 COORDINATORS: Lori...

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Transcript of Somerville High School Peer Leadership Press 2016-2017 · PDF file 4 COORDINATORS: Lori...

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    COORDINATORS: Lori Rastelli & Colin Williamson ADVISORS: Deborah Grossmith, Lori Rastelli & Colin Williamson


    Greetings!!! It is with great pleasure that we share our learning

    accomplishments, memories and gratitude from the 2016-2017 Peer

    Leadership experience! Peer Leadership develops the leadership skills of

    high school seniors while teaching them to provide outreach for freshmen

    that focus on: building relationships, fostering collaboration, increasing

    self-confidence, developing problem solving skills and acquiring decision

    making strategies. To that end, Peer Leadership seeks to achieve three

    outcomes: improved communication with our peers, teachers and families

    with an appreciation for people from different backgrounds; increased

    confidence in fulfilling academic and social responsibilities; enhanced

    leadership skills and the ability to identify and solve problems. Peer

    Leadership is a significant responsibility and opportunity for all who

    participate. An essential part of this program includes improving self-

    awareness so that as individuals we may lead the best life and as a

    community we may reach our highest potential. We hope you enjoy

    learning more about this program that has become such an integral part of

    our lives and school.

    Deborah Grossmith, Lori Rastelli and Colin Williamson

    Somerville High School

    Peer Leadership Press


    June 2017

    Inside This Issue…

    8th Grade Mixer…3

    Summer Retreat…4-7

    Five Stages of Group


    Freshmen Application &


    What is Breakout All


    Haunted High School…12

    Middle Earth Outreach…13

    Green Dot Training…14

    Red Ribbon Day…15-16

    BCMS Skits…16-17

    Winter Retreat…18-19

    Freshmen Field Day...19-20

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    2016-2017 Peer Leaders

    Period 5 – Mr. Williamson

    Charles Chirackal, Katelyn Haenny & Claire Marshak

    Sarah Coulson & Nicole Zangara

    Tyler Garcia & Grace Gioia

    Kaitlin Glick & Kayla Vuoso

    Matthew Nekoui & Beatriz Tomale

    Matthew Mineo & Paige Morgan

    Meredith Kolodney & Joshua Nemeth

    Period 6 – Mrs. Rastelli

    AJ Akins & Elaina Murnane

    Meghan Crum & Zach Guberer

    Luke Genise & Eden Zaleski

    Scott Hand & Emily Helm

    Kaeley Ipson & Robert McTernan

    Sean Kunz & Maddie Spolarich

    Annabelle Madamba & Natalie Tews

    Brendan Marino & Olivia Markowski

    Period 7 – Mrs. Grossmith

    Michael Richardson & Alexis Ciarletta

    Kyle McCormick & Emily Quick

    Jason Curau & Emily Antico

    Juan Galindo & Lila Tiner

    Maranda Kania & Kim Ferrara

    Matt Monaco & Kelcey Sheeley

    James Liu & Katie Hegadorn

    Tyler Leeds & Taylor Geiger

    A Look Into the Program…

    Our official program year begins as the summer retreat where, with the assistance of leadership guides from

    East Stroudsburg University, we lay the foundation for training a new group of student leaders. The students

    arrive at Stony Acres facility with more questions than answers but soon learn how to work cohesively together

    to form single unit through teambuilding exercises. The most exciting part of the Peer Leadership program is

    witnessing the amazing transformation our Peer Leaders undergo throughout the course of the year. All of

    the uncertainties and inhibitions they possess at the beginning are cultivated into stronger interpersonal,

    collaboration, problem solving and leadership skills. Their confidence and self-awareness is magnified

    throughout this maturation. We find as Program Advisors, we also experience learning by engaging with our

    students and seeing the world through their eyes. They hold the key to success in coping with life as an

    adolescent in today’s world. No one understands the challenges of being a youth better than they do. Having

    this knowledge is essential to provide an effective transitional program for the freshmen student body. We

    learn and grow together as a team.

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    Mixing it Up at SHS By: Scott Hand, Meghan Crum, Emily Helm, AJ Akins

    The annual mixer for the incoming freshmen of Somerville High School took place on June 8th,

    2017. It was a fun-filled day for the kids as they met the people that they would be spending their next four years of high school with. The purpose of the day was to mesh the two populations of Somerville and Branchburg in preparation for the time they would be spending together at Somerville High School, and you could see the excitement on every eighth grader’s face as they got off of the bus and walked through the field house gates. The students were divided into groups and assigned to the Peer Leaders of 2017 and 2018 and a member of the cultural diversity club, and then were off to the track. Icebreaker activities were conducted by the Peer Leaders all around the track, and included games like the name game, the human knot, “I like people who” and many others. Once everyone was comfortable in their groups and got to know each other, the kids were directed into the auditorium. Inside, the incoming freshmen sat in their groups with their leaders and watched a skit presentation from Dr. Michael "Mykee" Fowlin. Dr. Fowlin put on an inspiring presentation about accepting diversity and understanding the fact that everyone is different and nobody knows what someone else had been through. At the conclusion of the presentation, each group headed back out to the track for discussion and lunch. Ice cream and water was provided to everyone on the beautiful day. After lunch, everyone had the chance to play more games and mix a bit more, with some neighboring groups conjoining so that the kids could make even more friends.

    As it came to the end of the school day, the eighth graders went inside to listen to a few pieces that the band and chorus had put together. There were performances by the Chamber Choir, Men’s Chorus, and Jazz Band, and Mrs. Gorzynski and Mr. Krempasky explained the benefits of joining the music department at SHS. Speeches were given as well from a few of the key administration members at the high school, such as Mr. Mulligan, Director of Guidance, Kyle Franey, Athletic Director, Mr. Foley, Principal, and Mrs. DePace, Curriculum Supervisor. Then the students filed into the courtyard for information about the huge list of extracurricular activities they were eligible to sign up for. The whole point of this event is for the incoming freshmen from both Somerville Middle School and Branchburg Central Middle School to get a small taste of the high school and to meet and interact with the students they will spent the next four years with, and it was a complete success.

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    Peer Leadership Summer Retreat

    When we first arrived at the retreat, we were excited about our newly held leadership positions. Most of us had leadership positions prior but we did not know what to expect. We got into the groove of working together through a couple of ice breakers. We had not seen each other throughout the summer so we had to learn to trust each other quickly. Later on in the day, our trust in one another was continually challenged through many different activities.

    Ropes and Challenge Course By: Matt Mineo and Matthew Nekoui

    The first major event in the Peer Leadership program comes in the form of the Peer Leadership Summer Retreat. The rising seniors who have been selected as peer leaders all take part in this overnight, team-building retreat, during which the foundation for the Peer Leadership program is set. This retreat is significant because it is during this time, the seniors learn what class period they are in, select who their co-leader will be, and take part in many team building activities. One of the most memorable and enjoyable activities was the Ropes and Challenge Course.


    The Ropes and Challenge Course consisted of a series of tasks created in order to strengthen and emphasize teamwork and communication among all the seniors. Some of these activities included climbing a wall, climbing a ladder created by large logs suspended between two trees, tight- rope walking, and even zip lining from one tree to another. Not only were these activities difficult, but they were also very fun. The course as a whole taught the seniors to work as a team and

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    motivate one another to complete the challenges. These challenges really helped the seniors to communicate and become comfortable with each other as a group. The lessons learned from the Ropes and Challenge Course were very important for the new peer leaders, as they would teach these skills to the incoming freshmen through the next year. As peer leaders, these seniors work with the freshmen to teach them how to deal with issues they may run into during high school. With the skills gained through the Ropes and Challenge Course, the new peer leaders will help the incoming freshmen to form the same type of bond within their group of peers, allowing them to make an easy, enjoyable transition into high school.

    Share My Bag By: Sarah Coulson and Ni